Football: Ferguson says Stam and Giggs are `50-50'

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The Independent Online
MANCHESTER UNITED have only a slight chance of going into tomorrow night's Premiership game at Liverpool with Jaap Stam and Ryan Giggs in their starting line-up.

Alex Ferguson will check on their fitness later today, but the manager says it is unlikely either will play at Anfield, a match which could shape United's season. "They are coming on. It's difficult to say whether they'll make it or not, but certainly they are getting closer. It's probably 50-50 but it will be a difficult one," Ferguson said.

United go into the game a point behind the leaders, Arsenal, at Tottenham the same night. The Reds welcome back their captain, Roy Keane, who served a one-match suspension on Saturday.

Despite the FA Cup and European Cup final to play after the league campaign, Ferguson insists there are few signs of any pressure among his squad. "You watch them in training and can see their enjoyment. They are loving every minute of it, and it's obvious they are handling the pressure well. We have all got tough games, Arsenal, Chelsea and ourselves - and we just want to make sure we do our job right."

If Stam fails to appear David May or Wes Brown will partner Ronny Johnsen in defence, and should Giggs not be fit Jesper Blomqvist will continue on the left flank.